We did it! Finally, after riding the fence, hemming and hawing, making the decision to go forward only to be side-lined for two months by a persistent hoof abcess, Duke and I completed our Level 1 audition. I submitted it to Parelli for evaluation this morning. :) Yea!!! Last I heard Pat Parelli himself is personally evaluating all the auditions, so I'm really excited about that!
I'm very pleased with how it turned out; was nervous at first but once I forgot about the camera my nerves disappeared. Duke was awesome, but I definitely need to work on my draw. He used to come to me with a lot of energy; last summer I could send him 100 feet away, get his attention and he'd canter or trot right back to me. Something happened and now my draw is broke....OR I spent way too much time in Level 1 and he lost interest (I'm thinking the latter). I have to really keep things interesting for him.
In the Parelli program, Level 1 is all about safety and building the relationship. Basic horsemanship skills must be demonstrated, but Parelli isn't looking for perfection. As Pat says, "It's not the technique that matters, it is the respect that follows." I admit I got hung up on the perfection thing...but mainly because my rope handling skills were lacking. I was constantly fumbling with the rope, stepping on it, and completely unable to manage it and the carrot stick (the tool you see me using...it's not a whip, but an extension of my arm).
Compulsory skills for Level 1: friendly game, massage all four legs, porcupine game (move horse around using direct pressure), driving game (move horse around using rhythmic pressure), touch-it (ball), yo-yo (drive horse away and draw back to you), figure 8, squeeze game, sideways game, walk/trot forward then stop and back up keeping horse out of personal space, back through gate (or stall door in our case...up a short hill no less!).
I had to find royalty free music...that also created a delay finding just the right music to accompany us. What you can't hear was all the background noise going on that night...another horse munching on his dinner, a tom cat yowling, one of the barn cats crawling around on Debbie (my camera person) although you can tell when he jumped up on her at the beginning of the tape. Just before then, you'll see me laughing after I untied Duke...that's because two of the barn cats were playing at Debbie's feet. You'll see one walking away from the camera at the very end. We see them almost every day, sometimes they sit by the door, waiting for us. They actually belong to a neighbor, but prefer to spend time with us. Must be because we're so much fun!
So anywho, enjoy the video. I'll post my results after I receive them. Yee-haw!!!